(a.), education, public instruction. The word is the pl. of maʿrifa “knowledge”. The term was already used in mediaeval times to denote the secular subjects of knowledge or culture in general (e.g. in the title of Ibn Ḳutayba’s Kitāb al-Maʿārif ), in opposition to the religious sciences ( ʿulūm , pl. of ʿilm ).
1. In the Ottoman empire and the central and eastern Arab lands
It seems that the official use of the term appears for the first time in the Ottoman Empire…
Cite this page
Salmi, J. and
Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.
Consulted online on 28 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0596>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007